Gas appliances represent 80% of the hearth products installed today. Rightfully so, since today’s gas logs look exactly like real wood logs, but require much less maintenance. You won’t have to load fuel, tend the fire, or remove ashes.
Gas logs are the “original” gas hearth appliance since becoming a part of the hearth industry way back in the ‘50s. Back then, they had an unrealistic blue flame and lacked the realism that real fires had. Today’s gas logs look and feel exactly like wood burning.
If you’re not a fan of the wood-burning look, you can always utilize a more “modern look.” We’ve seen sets that use other materials like cut glass, pine cones, acorns, rocks, and cannonballs(!) to give unique looks to the fireplaces.
If you have a wood stove, or you’re wanting to build a fireplace, and you’re looking at gas appliances, then you’re in the right place.
Pick Your Gas
Gas log sets are designed to run on either natural gas or propane. You may already have a gas line running to your home. In this case, the gas you burn should be what you already have. But if you don’t we’ll dive into each to help you determine the best fit.
Since pipelines deliver natural gas, it is more common in cities. Today’s natural gas suppliers deliver fuel that contains about 1,000 BTUs per cubic foot.
- Usually less expensive than propane gas logs
- Lighter than air (0.65 specific gravity), so it dissipates into the atmosphere after combustion
- Needs to be hard-piped to any appliance from buried gas service lines
- Natural gas service may not be available in your area
Propane has been around as a heating source since the very early 1900s. It is more common than natural gas in many rural parts of the United States and very popular for heating and cooking.
- Contains more carbon dioxide than natural gas
- Burns three times hotter than natural gas
- Can be operated independently of natural gas lines or appliances
- Popular in rural areas since it can be used in areas where natural gas service is not
- More expensive than natural gas
- Requires installation of a dedicated tank
- Often requires you to sign a contract with a propane dealer to refill your tank
Schedule Your Inspection
Since fuel is consistent with gas appliances (leads to better combustion), and since gas appliances are much easier to handle, they represent the majority of new hearth appliance installations. However, these appliances need to be inspected and maintained just as much as wood stoves do.
Gas appliances need to be carefully adjusted to maintain efficiency and look. You have your furnace tuned up every year by your HVAC company, but did you know that you should have your gas logs tuned as well.
You should have your gas fireplace inspected and serviced every year by a CSIA certified chimney sweep. A certified sweep doesn’t just specialize in wood-burning stoves. They also understand the basic characteristics of gas and the significant differences between natural gas and propane.
If you want the most knowledgeable technician for gas appliances, you should look to hire a CSIA certified chimney sweep with the Installing & Troubleshooting Gas Hearth Appliances designation. Sweeps with this designation understand servicing and installing gas appliances, as well as appliance standards, combustion requirements, pipe sizing and installation, troubleshooting, carbon monoxide testing, and fuel conversion.
At Patriot Chimney, we have two Certified Sweeps with this designation, so you’ll know that you and your family are safe.